Ottolock Review – Detailed Test Revealed, Review, Final Verdict

Finding a bike lock that is the perfect balance between portability, affordability and security can be a difficult task.

This is why we’ve decided to test out the Otto Design Works Lock to see if it stands up to the standards set up by cyclists and motorbike enthusiasts.

Today, we’ll look at what makes this product stand out from the rest, review all of its features and discuss whether or not it’s suitable for you or not.

Main Product

Otto Design Works Lock Review

This bike lock may look lightweight and flimsy. However, in reality, it boasts a multi-layer steel and Kevlar band design that makes it extremely cut-resistant. It’s easy to use and its flexible nature means it won’t scuff or damage your bike’s finish.

Alternative #1

Abus Granit X-Plus 540 U Lock Review

This U-lock is a universal holder for bike tubing so it works for almost every bike. It comes with a code card that you can utilize to order replacement keys and it’s incredibly durable.

Alternative #2

Kryptonite KryptoLok Series 2 Review

This product comes with anti-rattle bumpers that reduce noise during transport. It boasts a hardened cross-bar design with a center keyway that helps it resist leverage attacks.

Best Padlocks
Best Padlocks
How Much Should You Spend on a Good Padlock?
Best Padlocks
Best Padlocks
How Much Should You Spend on a Good Padlock?
Best Padlocks
Best Padlocks
How Much Should You Spend on a Good Padlock?
Best Padlocks
Best Padlocks
How Much Should You Spend on a Good Padlock?

Best Padlocks
Best Padlocks
How Much Should You Spend on a Good Padlock?
Best Padlocks
Best Padlocks
How Much Should You Spend on a Good Padlock?

Quick Summary of the Main Product

Manufacturers constantly strive to strike the right balance between portability and security. Sure, you can have a heavy-duty chain that’s made of reinforced steel to protect your bike but it’s going to be a major headache carrying it with you. Keeping all this in mind, Otto Design has tried to strike a balance by creating a bike lock that is insanely flexible and lightweight. Not only that but it also provides you with adequate security for your bike. 

It weighs a meager 120 to 155 grams and can easily be stored in any handy saddlebag or backpack. It has an easily resettable 3-dial combination that works like a charm. Even though it looks like it would be very easy to cut through, it actually has many layers of steel and Kevlar® bands. These help increase its security tenfold. 

Even with all these security reinforcements built into it though, the Ottolock is still not as secure as most U-locks that you can find on the market. However, most cyclists tend to not carry a lock with them at all because most of them are too heavy to carry around. This lock definitely solves that problem. I think you’ll agree with us when we say that having some form of lock on your bike is definitely better than not having a lock at all.

Features and Benefits

  • Anti-Theft Technology

As we mentioned earlier, the Ottolock does provide a deceptively high amount of security. It achieves this through its Kevlar-reinforced fiber. This fiber covers multiple layers of stainless-steel bands. The outside also has an anti-scratch Santoprene coating. This ensures that the lock doesn’t stain or harm your bike’s paint job whenever you lock it or hang the lock onto it. 

While the security that the Ottolock provides doesn’t make it “cut-proof” but it is definitely very cut-resistant. The average thief will definitely have to put in a lot of resources before they can break into this lock.

Also, the Ottolock is not aimed mainly at the urban commuter. Its target demographic is more towards professional cyclists on training rides. These riders require a lock that will fit snugly in their jersey pocket and keep their bike secure during a quick bathroom break.

It was impossible for us to break into this lock with snips or a hacksaw. The only way we were able to break into it was by using a hammer on the combination dial. However, if you keep the combination dial/locking mechanism above the ground, it will be near impossible to break it with a hammer as well. 

  • Flexibility

We don’t even have to explicitly tell you about this feature for you to know how imperative it is to this product’s design. All you need to do is look at it to know that it’s bendable and flexible. This adds to its portability and we’re sure this is something that every biker will appreciate. 

  • User-Friendly 

The Ottolock is very simple to use. The locking mechanism consists of a three-digit combination dial that you use to set your code. This code can very easily be reset by the user as well in case he or she wants to change it. 

  • Convenient Storage 

This goes back to how flexible and lightweight the Ottolock is. You can store it very easily in your backpack, saddlebag, any form pouch or even in your jersey or jacket pocket. 

  • Lightweight 

The average bike lock weighs about 4.50 pounds. Compare that to the Ottolock which weighs an astoundingly little 5.3 ounces. The fact that it weighs so little further adds to its portability. You can store it wherever you want and not have to worry about its weight at all. You can barely even feel it inside your bag or pocket when you’re carrying it around. 

  • Inconspicuous Design

You may have read this heading and said, “it has a bright orange color. How is it inconspicuous?” Well, by inconspicuous, we mean that this lock is very unassuming. By looks alone, it looks extremely easy to break into. And thus, due to this, it will catch many thieves off-guard. Your average thief may look at this lock and think that he can break into it using regular snips. They will then be disappointed when the Ottolock doesn’t get cut.

Pros and Cons


  • It’s extremely easy to use. It has an easy-to-set and easy-to-reset combination dial. It also comes with a minimalistic, simple design that everyone can make use of it very conveniently. 

  • It’s very easy to store. It doesn’t take up too much space, it’s extremely flexible and very lightweight. This makes it the perfect lock for you if you don’t have too much extra space to store up a lock that’s too heavy when you go on a bike ride. 

  • It’s incredibly secure and durable. We’ve discussed the inner structure of this lock in detail. That’s enough for us to know that it will take the average thief quite a lot of time and effort to break into it.  

  • It’s weather-resistant. You would be surprised to know how many bike locks out there aren’t weather-proof or rust-proof. However, the Ottolock is not one of them. Come rain, come shine, come snow, come sleet, the Ottolock will keep your bike secure. 

  • It’s very compact. The Ottolock has a very small footprint. This means that it can be suitable for bikes of many different sizes and also, it’s very easy to store in small spaces as well.  

  • It’s incredibly versatile. When you compare it to a typical U-lock, the Ottolock is much more flexible which opens up a lot of possibilities for you to lock your bike in creative ways. However, we must warn you that you should know about how to secure your bike properly before you try and experiment with the Ottolock. You could be opening your bike up to potential theft if you don’t have the proper knowledge.


  • It’s relatively expensive. The fact that it has the same price tag as most U-locks even though it doesn’t provide the same level of security really works against it. Most bikers will generally end up buying a regular U-lock because of the Ottolock’s price tag even though it provides more portability.

  • It may start to deteriorate over time. Even though the Ottolock is weather-proof, we’ve studied it thoroughly over months. We feel that over time, the effects of wear-and-tear are going to start to show.

Social Proof

We went over many online customer reviews and noticed a general pattern among them. People who were using the lock for its intended purpose were generally quite happy. On the other hand, urban commuters were generally dissatisfied. 

One customer said that the Ottolock is great for providing moderate-level security. They also said that it acts as a strong visual deterrent for any would-be thieves. 

Another customer appreciated how flexible and easy to carry around it was. They were impressed by its design and how incredibly lightweight it was for the security it provides.

More Recommendations!

#1: A Hardened-Steel Alternative - Abus Granit X-Plus 540 U Lock Review

This product is an extremely secure lock. It features a shackle, case and supporting elements that are all made of special temper-hardened steel. This makes this lock extremely difficult to break into even for seasoned thieves.

We tried breaking into it using snips, bolt cutters, a hacksaw, a drill and a hammer and none of these tools were able to penetrate it.

The ABUS Code card is also a great addition to the package as it enables you to contact ABUS in case you lose your keys. They’ll send you a replacement in no time.

Features of Abus Granit X-Plus 540 U Lock

  1. Dimensions: 14.6 inches x 8.7 inches x 7.9 inches

  2. Weight: 3.77 pounds

  3. Comes with two keys

  4. LED-lit keyhole

  5. Comes with ABUS Code card for easy replacement of keys

  • Can be used on bikes of many different sizes
    High security
  • Easy to use

  • Corrosion-resistant

  • Weather-proof
  • Very secure
  • Quite heavy and difficult to carry around
    High security
  • Extremely expensive

If high-end security is what you’re looking for then this product is perfect for you. It’s heavy-duty but very easy to use and protects your bike very effectively from thieves.

#2: An Alternative with U-lock and Cable Combo - Kryptonite KryptoLok Series 2 Review

This product really impressed us just by how adequately secure it was at the price tag that it comes with. Bike locks at this price point don’t normally come with a cable combo. They are also generally much more susceptible to leverage attacks or can easily be cut by using bolt cutters. This lock, however, was able to withstand both without breaking a sweat.

It has an impressive design that strikes the perfect balance between convenience and security. It has anti-rattle bumpers which ensure that the lock doesn’t make any noise while you’re riding your bike with them hanging off of it.

Features of Kryptonite KryptoLok Series 2

  1. Dimensions: 9 inches x 4 inches x 1.2 inches

  2. Weight: 3.6 pounds

  3. Disc-style cylinder

  4. Anti-rattle bumpers

  5. Cut-resistant steel shackle

  • Comes with two keys
    High security
  • Ergonomic and attractive design

  • Comes with a dust cover

  • Extremely secure
  • Relatively affordable
  • The lock may be a bit rigid and difficult to open sometimes
    High security

If you want the double-layered security of having a U-lock paired with a cable then this product is perfect for you. The steel shackle resists cutting and leverage attacks while loop cable is great for securing the front wheels.

ottolock review

Guide to Buy

How can I judge whether an Ottolock cinch lock would be suitable for me?

The important thing to note about the Ottolock is that it’s main target customer is not the average urban biker. It’s not meant for people that ride bikes in city districts or urban suburbs. It’s mainly manufactured for athletes and professional cyclists. They often require a quick, lightweight lock that they can store within their sports jerseys. It’s something that can provide their bike with security while they go for a small bathroom break or a quick refreshment stop.

If you intend on keeping your bike locked and out of your sight for long periods of time then the Ottolock may not be suitable for you. This is because, with enough time and resources, a thief can definitely break into the lock.

So, in conclusion, if you only leave your bike unattended for small periods of time, then the Ottolock would be perfect for you. If you have to leave your bike unattended for an extended period of time, then we suggest you look towards other options than the Ottolock.

Is an Ottolock the only lock I need to keep my bike secure?

No. Like we said before, the Ottolock only provides moderate-level security and can definitely be broken into if given enough time. That’s why we suggest that if it’s maximum security you’re looking for then you should look towards some other bike lock entirely. You can also try having another bike lock in combination with the Ottolock.

How do I use my Ottolock?

All you need to do when you first get your Ottolock is to set your three-digit code on the combination dial and you’re all set to go. You can then use the Ottolock on your bike in a number of ways. Some of these ways are by securing the front wheel to something solid on the street or to your bike’s own handlebar.

How do I reset the code on my Ottolock?

Here’s how you reset the code on your Ottolock: 

  1. Set the combination dial to your current 3-digit code (The factory default is 0-0-0).

  2. Insert a small needle or thumbtack into the small hole on the side of the lock as deep as it goes. 

  3. Remove the pin slowly. 

  4. Turn the combination dial to your desired 3-digit code. 

  5. Firmly press the button until it’s flushed in order to set it.

Wrapping Things Up…

Concluding our post, we have to say that we went into testing the Ottolock with a lot of skepticism. We believed it wouldn’t hold up to even the most primitive of lock-picking and destruction techniques but it held up quite well. It’s much more flexible than most bike locks on the market and it can be used in a variety of ways.

This brings us to the conclusion of our post for the best Ottolock review.

Let us know in the comments how you’ve been using your Ottolock to secure your bike.